Ground Layering Cotinus coggygria?

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by xman, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. xman

    xman Active Member

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    Plano TX USA

    I have a Cotinus coggygria ('Royal Purple' smoke bush) that has 3 branches that are very close to the ground. The thickness of these branches are about that of a pencil, and they are about half an inch from the ground. Is ground layering a good option to try in this case? I am planning to use 1 gallon containers cut in half to anchor these branches in till they root (i.e I am going the wound the branch, apply root hormone, and then anchor the branch into the container so that it is easier to separate when the branches root).
    Do you think this is feasible? What kind of soil should I be using in these cutoff containers?

    Or should I not try ground layering and go with air layering instead? What is the approximate rooting time for Cotinus coggygria?
    Any information and other pointers will be greatly appreciated.

  2. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Xman--layering is indeed an excellent way to propagate your cotinus. For many years, this was the accepted method (before the common use of intermittent mist) and I suspect that it is still quite a viable system even for some commercial setups, not to mention your situation.

    The specific type of layering is called french layering, and involves digging a bit of a trench under the prospective branch, then pegging it down into that trench somehow (stiff wire U shaped deals maybe?) and filling a couple inches of soil over the branch. No hormones or wounding are used in this method.

    The commercial system would involve beheading a strong plant one spring, allowing it to send out long vigorous branches which would be buried the following autumn and left for an entire growing season. The next winter, these rooted branches would be severed and snipped into individual plants, which will have formed wherever a leaf node allowed roots to form. In this dormant stage, the new little plants would be potted up into normal mix, and begin to grow the following spring. Wonderfully low tech, tho perhaps slightly more work and a tich slower than softwood cuttings under mist...the standard propagation system nowadays.

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